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Fugitive who sparked East Missoula manhunt sought to "die by cop - KPAX.com | Continuous News | Missoula & Western Montana

Fugitive who sparked East Missoula manhunt sought to "die by cop"

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MISSOULA - An armed fugitive that lead authorities on a five-hour manhunt through East Missoula this week told authorities he “wanted to die by cop” but could not follow through.

In court documents, when authorities asked the defendant William “Billy” Newhoff why he caused so much damage to property and put so many lives in danger Tuesday, he responded that he was facing live in prison and figured “it would be better to die.”

Newhoff told authorities after he crashed his truck, he ran looking for a place to hide and found an open door on a trailer. Once he determined no one was inside, he put on the homeowners clothes and locked the door.

Officers found Newhoff nearly five hours later in a trailer on the 500 block of Speedway Loop with the homeowner. 

A corporal and deputy saw Newhoff standing behind the door of a room holding pistol in his right hand. The corporal pointed his service weapon at Newhoff and ordered him to show his hands.

Newhoff initially ignored the Corporal’s orders, but later dropped the pistol on the floor.

Authorities directed Newhoff to step out of the doorway, but he refused stating, “just shoot me", but officers were able to detain Newhoff.

Newhoff made his initial appearance in Missoula County Justice Court Thursday afternoon where his bail was set at $150,000. 

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